|Subject: NZPA: Peters urges cautious
response to UN's East Timor report
Peters urges cautious response to UN's East Timor report
1.00pm Thursday October 19, 2006
Foreign Minister Winston Peters is urging key players in East Timor to respond "cautiously and positively" to the United Nations' report on the violence that shook the country earlier this year.
The UN released its report into the unrest yesterday, saying former prime minister Mari Alkatiri and his government were largely to blame.
It recommended further investigations to determine whether Mr Alkatiri carried any criminal responsibility.
East Timor descended into chaos in April and May following the dismissal of 600 soldiers by Mr Alkatiri, a move that split the armed forces and later spilled over into gang warfare that left at least 33 people dead and sent 150,000 fleeing from their homes.
Mr Peters said today there were a number of very serious findings in the report.
"Justice and accountability are important parts of the political dialogue and social reconciliation," he said in a statement.
"The report, if dealt with carefully and constructively, can make a contribution to those processes."
Mr Peters said the tasks suggested in the report might be well beyond the current capacity of the country's state and judicial systems.
"New Zealand, along with the rest of the international community, will look at what it can do to support those fragile institutions," he said.